Tag Archive | sexual abuse

Child Sexual Abuse and Mental Health Preservation

Sexual abuse in children is the worst of worst crime and mostly it is committed by someone known, some creepy relative or some known friend. The best time to talk to your child about sexual abuse is now.

Listen to your child when they try to say something to you in their shaky voices, be present when they need you, be active while you are listening to them, believe in them, read between the lines, use all your senses when you sense something wrong.

Do not leave your child unattended even when you see some differences in their behavior. Some wounds never heal, some trauma are so deeply inflicted that they haunt people forever their life.

A very good friend of mine and a Psychologist/ Counselor at Pathways Psychology Services – Winfield , Swati Bajpai shares some very important facts we all should consider. Sharing this here to spread the message which is vital and invaluable.

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What after Sexual Abuse?

How to be supportive to the child in protecting themselves and learning healthy coping skills?

Children often react to traumatic events like physical and sexual abuse with anxiety and distress. Other common reactions are disruptive behavior, acting out, aggression, anger, or having trouble following rules.

While the child is undergoing therapy, parents and caregivers play an important role in helping out children struggling with trauma.

It’s done by Praise, Active Ignoring, Time-out .

Praise is a valuable tool parents can use to increase their child’s desirable behavior. Most children respond well to praise or positive attention.
It is better to use labeled praises instead of unlabeled praises. A labeled praise is specific.
An example of a labeled praise is: “I like how you cleaned the table the first time I asked.” This example is clear in terms of what the parent was praising.
It is also important to praise desirable behavior as soon as possible after it happens. The more immediate the reward, the more the child will be affected by it.

Be consistent with the praise as children’s behavior is most difficult to manage when they have unpredictable rewards and consequences for their behavior.

Avoid criticizing when praising the child.
In the above example the child might have ignored earlier requests for help. Therefore don’t praise by saying, “Thanks for cleaning the table. Why aren’t you this responsible all the time?”

Bring emotions in praise. Don’t sound robotic in your praise. An enthusiastic praise can go a long way toward rewarding your child’s desirable behavior.

Ignoring

Children do undesirable things to get attention even though it’s negative attention. For this reason, it is important to use praise for desirable behavior and active ignoring for undesirable behavior. Very importantly, NEVER ignore dangerous or unsafe behavior. You should only use active ignoring to decrease undesirable, non-dangerous behavior.

Timeout

The primary goal of timeout is to remove a child temporarily from a reinforcing environment or situation in order to decrease an undesirable behavior. Timeout should not be done in a crowded room. It should be done in a quiet, un-stimulating room, and should last only a few minutes.

For Behavior Management
Be consistent
Frame goals positively
Set short-term goals (use one day or one week rather than one month)
Follow through with rewards

If the reward at the end of the week is ice cream, be prepared and avoid postponing the reward. The behavior chart is most likely to be effective if parents follow through consistently and predictably.

Sexual Abuse

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Identify Feelings
For many children who have experienced sexual abuse, some feelings may feel very strong and may be difficult to cope with at times. Learning how to talk about these feelings can help you talk to others about these feelings and can help you learn to cope with them better. Teach children to identify as many feelings as possible.

Teach the children to express the feelings in physical indicators. Like being means happy or when others know you are happy means smiles, eyes squint, laughter, etc.

Sad- crying, redness in face, tears, sobbing, etc. Mad- frowns, feeling tense, yelling, heart beating fast, redness in face, etc. Scared- frightened look, heart beating rapidly, shaking, cold clammy hands, sweating, shortness of breath, screaming, crying, etc.

Teach the child how to rate the intensity level of an emotion. Sometimes there are strong feelings and sometimes they are not so strong. For example, sometimes we feel a little angry and other times we feel very, very angry.  Ask them to rate in on the scale of 1 to 10.

  • Children struggling with extreme emotions need to develop relaxation skills to calm down.
  • Deep Breathing
  • Demonstrate proper breathing technique.

Now, let’s concentrate on the breathing. Sit in a comfortable position.
Put one of your hands, right above the belly button, and the other up on the chest.
When we breathe in, the hand on our tummy should move up, and when we breathe out it should move down. The hand on our chest should stay still and not move the whole time. This means we are breathing correctly.

Also read: How to nurture a child’s Mental health?

Introduce relaxing word
Like the word ‘Calm’. Try to concentrate on the word calm. If other thoughts pop into the head besides ‘calm,’ try to picture them floating away with the breath as one exhales.

Enhancing Safety in children

Enhancing Safety
Teach the child that their body is very special and it belongs to them.A body has all kinds of different parts-some parts of the body don’t need clothes all the time, but other parts need clothes most of the time, even when one goes swimming. These are your private parts.

What do you call your private parts?

Teach correct naming of body parts—can use diagrams and/or drawings to facilitate. But no words which don’t make sense as then the child won’t be able to tell accurately about the abuse.

Healthy Sexuality/Body Awareness

Tell the child that his/her body is very special and, it’s ok to have sexual feelings. When they become an adult, they can enjoy having sex with someone who they love. That will be a very special thing. Sex with someone you care about is a positive, loving thing.

OK and Not OK Touches

Teach the child besides the doctor, nurse during checkup and parents at home, NOBODY should touch their private parts for other reasons, even if it is someone they know and love.

If they feel funny, strange, or uncomfortable about the way someone’s touching them , they can tell that person, “NO!”

Also, make sure to tell them to tell an adult about what happened, like a parent, or relative or teacher or friend—someone who they trust. Keep telling until someone listens to them.

Just to review—what are the 3 things they should do if someone tries to touch their private parts?

1. Say “No.”
2. Get away from the person.
3. Tell a grownup you trust about what happened.
4. Tell another grown-up if the first one doesn’t do something.

Remember, if someone tries to touch you, it is not your fault. Never be too afraid to tell what happened.

Much love and gratitude

Priyanka Nair

WOMEN ARE ROSES AWARD CEREMONY -Women With Gifts International

I am so happy to write this blog post as it gives me immense pleasure to be a part of the WOMEN ARE ROSES AWARD CEREMONY organized by the Women With Gifts International, Colorado and express my sincere gratitude to Mrs. LaNette Kincaid( founder) to give me the opportunity to contribute my writings for this prestigious event.

Women With Gifts is a nonprofit organization that was created by women to help women become self-sufficient. Their mission is they are changing the world one woman at a time.
On June 1, 2019, they are hosting WAR, Women are Roses Award Ceremony in order to showcase women all over the world who have overcome obstacles and hasn’t stopped being a staple and inspiration to other women. Some of the Women Are Roses award recipients are survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, breast cancer, mental illness, caregivers and authors. (Sharing the Press Release)
WOMEN ARE ROSES AWARD CEREMONY:
June 1, 2019, at 4 pm
7290 Commerce Center Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Women Are Roses Award Ceremony is a gala-banquet to honor the ladies around the world and also showcase women empowerment and sisterhood. Proceeds from this event will continue to benefit low-income single mothers.
Here are our honorees for the upcoming FORMAL event:
Priyanka Nair from India 
Lindsay Coldrick from London,
Keir Sylvester from Texas
Michelle Besay from Georgia,
Nancy Mulligan from New Jersey,
Holly Bird from Arizona,
Pamela Cohen from Tennessee,
Nicole Smith from Texas,
Nicole Dionne Willis  from Oklahoma,
N. Nadir from Canada,
Evelyn Taylor from Texas,
Sharon Turner from Texas,
Lady Radonna from Colorado,
Zoe Monee’ from Texas, and
Jennifer Carfora from North Carolina
It’s not too late to join the event, Tickets are available on EVENTBRITE. For everyone who purchases a ticket to this event will also be invited to the PRIVATE networking event on May 31, 2019 . Book your tickets and Save the Date.
Much Love and Gratitude
Priyanka
#VirtualSiyahi